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Freedom to Die

People, Politics, and the Right-to-Die Movement

Derek Humphrey and Mary Clement

St. Martin's Press

The strength of the right-to-die movement was underscored as early as 1991, when Derek Humphry published Final Exit, the movement's call to arms that inspired literally hundreds of thousands of Americans who wished to understand the concepts of assisted suicide and the right to die with dignity. Now Humphry has joined forces with attorney Mary Clement to write Freedom to Die, which places this civil rights story within the framework of American social history. More than a chronology of the movement, this book explores the inner motivations of an entire society. Reaching back to the years just after World War II, Freedom to Die explores the roots of the movement and answers the question: Why now, at the end of the twentieth century, has the right-to-die movement become part of the mainstream debate? In a reasoned voice, which stands out dramatically amid the vituperative clamoring of the religious right, the authors examine the potential dangers of assisted suicide - suggesting ways to avert the negative consequences of legalization - even as they argue why it should be legalized.

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Freedom To Die
PART ONEThe Impetus for ChangeChapter 1Medical Technology's OnslaughtPublic interest is the lever that activates the government and other institutions to formulate public policy. Members of the community, from block associations to the U.S. electorate, raise issues and express preferences by the election of officials, by initiatives and referendums, and by the determination of special-interest-group activity. The government, in response to its constituents, provides public policy. Other institutions modify or change their official policy as public pressure dictates.The right-to-die
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Derek Humphrey and Mary Clement

  • Derek Humphry is a journalist and author who has spent more than thirty years campaigning for lawful physician-assisted dying to be an option for the terminally and hopelessly ill. He started this campaign in 1975 after the death of his first wife, Jean, from bone cancer which had become so painful and distressing that she took her own life with his help.

    Born on April 29, 1930, in Bath, England, of a British father and an Irish mother, he was raised on the Mendip Hills in Somerset. His education was slender because of a broken home followed by the 1939-45 war when most English schools were in chaos. He attended perhaps a dozen different schools, leaving at age 15 to pursue a career in journalism.
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Freedom to Die

People, Politics, and the Right-to-Die Movement

Derek Humphrey and Mary Clement

  • e-Book

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Press

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